Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Miles Davis Quintet: "The Very Best Of" (2012) CD Review

The Very Best Of The Miles Davis Quintet includes ten tracks taken from six albums recorded in 1955 (just the first track) and 1956. Choosing the best tracks from Miles Davis, even from such a limited time period, has to be difficult. But these ten tracks are good choices, showing a range, from the wild energy of "Airegin" to the soft, intimate touch on "You're My Everything."

"Just Squeeze Me"

This compilation opens with "Just Squeeze Me," which starts off with Red Garland on piano.  This rendition is sweet, mellow, even pretty, particularly in Miles Davis' playing (his trumpet just makes me feel so damned good on this song - like a kind voice). It's an easy-going tune written by Duke Ellington and Lee Gains, and originally on the album Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet.


This collection includes a truly interesting take on Sonny Rollins' "Oleo." Listen to that intense, unrelenting bass line by Paul Chambers, over which the others play and dance, trying different things, coming together at times. There is some spirited playing here, particularly during the various leads.


"Four" is a tune written by Miles Davis (one of two in this collection). This one features some great work by Philly Joe Jones on drums (including some short solos). Davis' trumpet is bright and joyous, and there is something wonderful in the precise playing by Red Garland on piano during his turn at lead.

"Well, You Needn't"

What I really love about this recording of "Well, You Needn't" is the way Davis and Coltrane play together, particularly at the beginning. Don't get me wrong - the lead sections are great, but there is something completely wonderful when those two are interacting.  And there is some seriously cool stuff by Paul Chambers on bass. 

"Well, You Needn't" was written by Thelonious Monk, and included on Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet.

"In Your Own Sweet Way"

It's great hearing Miles Davis cover Dave Brubeck. This is another sweet tune, and there is a really interesting flow, especially from Miles Davis to John Coltrane. There is something light in the playing in certain sections that feels so good.  This track is from Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet.

"Tune Up"

This collection concludes with its second Miles Davis composition, "Tune Up," a spirited, fast-paced tune, with some tremendous playing by Miles. There is also a brief drum solo.  "Tune Up" was originally included on Cookin' With The Miles Davis Quintet.

CD Track List
  1. Just Squeeze Me
  2. Oleo
  3. 'Round Midnight
  4. Four
  5. My Funny Valentine
  6. Well, You Needn't
  7. In Your Own Sweet Way
  8. Airegin
  9. You're My Everything
  10. Tune Up

The Miles Davis Quintet is Miles Davis on trumpet, John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums.

The Very Best Of The Miles Davis Quintet was released on June 12, 2012 through Concord Music Group. Also released on that day were The Very Best Of Wes Montgomery, The Very Best Of Chet Baker, The Very Best Of Sonny Rollins, and The Very Best Of John Coltrane: The Prestige Era.

No comments:

Post a Comment